King Author comes to town with ‘The Sword and the Stone” |

King Author comes to town with ‘The Sword and the Stone”

Kids thrill to productions by The Traveling Lantern Theatre Company, which is presenting a play about young King Arthur Saturday.

And why not? The two actors slip into different dynamic roles, changing colorful wizard and knight costumes as they go.

This story is particularly riveting. It tells of a boy, who, with the guidance of his sorcerer friend Merlin, passes a test, little knowing he will grow up to become the just, ethical and admired King Arthur – great moral education dressed up in fabulous entertainment.

Youth services librarian at the Grass Valley Library, Sushila Mertens, who was active in getting the theater company to come to the library twice, says of their previous performance of “The Hobbit”: “The troupe packed a lot of action into the plot, quickly transforming from character to character. Afterwards, they talked with the kids about their costumes and props and answered questions.” She thinks that this exposure stimulates interest in the children to read the book being portrayed and, perhaps, even to take up acting.

From the theater company’s Web site, “The style of our shows is built on the model of traveling actors from the Middle Ages through Elizabethan times, who traveled from village to village putting on a repertoire of different performances. Traditional stories would be updated and embellished. Audience members took an active part in the play … by cheering the hero, booing the villain, warning of danger, creating sound effects, and sometimes even becoming characters in the story.”

The 18-year-old theater company from San Diego has a 20-play repertoire, mostly of literature-based plays, that it takes out on the road to schools and libraries across the nation each spring and fall.

The play is geared to children 6 and older, said Mertens.


WHAT: “The Sword and the Stone”

WHEN: Saturday, 10 a.m. (performance is 45 minutes)

WHERE: Community Room of the Madelyn Helling Library, 980 Helling Way, Nevada City.

ADMISSION: Free. For children 6 and older.

INFORMATION: 477-5790;

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